Carpet damage by water

What To Do After Water Damage To Carpets

A flood in the home can cause significant damage, especially to carpets. However, this does not necessarily mean that the carpeting needs to be ripped up immediately and disposed of. There are options available to save and restore carpets after water damage has occurred.

Should A Carpet Be Replaced After Water Damage?

Whether a carpet can be saved and what steps need to be taken depends on a number of different factors:

  • The type of material the carpets are manufactured from. Wool and silk are likely to experience far more damage from water than synthetic materials.
  • The extent of the flooding and water damage.
  • Whether the water was clean, dirty or contaminated.
  • If the carpets were glued to the floor, stapled or adhered using another means.
  • The time that elapsed before the carpets were treated.

It is recommended to start treating carpets at least 48 hours after water damage has occurred. If water was dirty, it is best to have them professionally cleaned using an extraction method that will remove most of the excess water and allow the carpets to dry as quickly as possible. If the water was clean, the carpets should be dried immediately, then cleaned. Damage to wool and silk carpets can be reduced if the carpets are cleaned and dried as soon as possible.

Is A Carpet Permanently Ruined After It Gets Wet?

Water can cause carpets to shrink, warp and stretch – this is especially true for silk and wool carpets. If this has happened, then replacement is probably best as the damage may be permanent. However, it may not be too late and it is recommended to contact an expert carpet restoration service to identify whether the carpets can be saved. Some synthetic carpets may also become irreparably warped, stretched or shrunken but have a better chance of being saved.

Carpets that were exposed to contaminated water may also be permanently ruined. Professional restoration services may recommend that the carpets be destroyed entirely due to the toxins that may have been present in the water. Toxins could be man-made such as chemicals, natural such as sewage or environmental such as microorganisms like mold and bacteria. Microbial cleaning agents should be used to clean carpets that were wet with dirty water or water that was contaminated with natural or environmental agents.

Mold seeks out moist environments and can start to grow within just 48 hours of spores landing on a wet surface. This is one of the main reasons that carpets need to be treated at least 48 hours after water damage has occurred. Even if you can’t immediately see the mold growth, it is probably present. There are a range of different treatments for carpets where mold growth has begun. However, where the mold has already made an appearance, the carpet may be permanently ruined and need replacement.

How To Clean Water Damaged Carpets

It is only recommended to clean carpets yourself if water damage has occurred from a clean water source. If there is any concern that the water was contaminated in any way, professional carpet cleaning and water restoration services are highly recommended. They will assess the extent of the damage, if any toxins may be present and provide the best cleaning solution to prevent permanent damage.

If you are cleaning your carpets yourself, do so within 48 hours. Open all windows and doors and use fans and heating solutions to dry the carpet as quickly as possible.

Once the carpet is entirely dry (including the under felt or matting), clean the carpets using a mircobrial agent to eliminate microorganisms like mold spores. It is advisable to use a carpet cleaning machine that can extract excess water. Repeat the drying process. If the matting was soaked and does not dry in 48 hours, it is recommended to have it replaced.

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